If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Douglas Arter Centre could be closed
A CARE home for severely disabled people in Salisbury could be closed down after being described as “old fashioned”.
Mental health charity Scope, which runs the Douglas Arter Centre in Odstock Road, is considering shutting it down, with the nine residents being forced to find a new place to live.
The centre opened in the 1970s and provides residential care for disabled people aged between 30 and 70.
There is also a day centre, which will not be affected by the changes.
Residents are cared for by 39 staff whose jobs have been put at risk, although Scope says it will try to offer them alternative employment.
Many of the residents have lived in the centre for several years and the newest moved in three years ago.
In a report published last August by the Care Quality Commission, the Douglas Arter Centre was found to be compliant in all areas.
Inspectors found residents were happy with their home, enjoyed good relationships with staff, take part in a range of activities, and their dignity and privacy are respected.
However, Scope says it is trying to move away from running care homes, allowing disabled people to become more integrated in their communities.
It has already shut down ten homes in other parts of the country and the Douglas Arter Centre would close in two to three years’ time.
The charity says it will work with each resident, many of whom can’t speak and rely on other forms of communication, and their family to find a suitable alternative.
“We don’t think this kind of old fashioned care home offers disabled people the say that everyone else has over where they live, who they live with and how their money is spent,” said regional director for Scope, Tracie Lineham.
“This is part of a wider trend, prompted by disabled people, away from institutional, segregated care homes towards the kind of support where disabled people have choice and control over the services they receive and are treated as citizens.
“We know changes like this are hard for the disabled people, families and staff involved, and it’s not something we do without a great deal of consideration.”
Although Scope says it has launched a consultation, staff and families said they learned of the plan through the Journal’s Facebook page.
One wrote: “My sister lives there, what next for her?” while another reader told us: “First I’ve heard, and I work there.”
Scope is also considering changes to the bungalow it runs in Alderbury where five people aged 40 to 60 have lived since it opened 20 years ago. No changes are planned to Scope’s Shapland Close bungalows in Wilton Road.
The care of residents who use the Scope services are funded by Wiltshire Council and the NHS.
Comments are closed on this article.